Johnson City-based Borla Exhaust announced Monday it has signed on as primary sponsor for the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota at the Daytona 500 and four more Sprint Cup races to be announced for the 2014 season.
Ryan Truex is scheduled to compete for Rookie of the Year honors in the car this season. Truex won back-to-back NASCAR Pro East championships in 2009 and 2010. The 21-year-old from New Jersey, a younger brother of made his Sprint Cup debut last August at Bristol, and has made starts in all national touring series since 2011.
His best finish was a second-place at a NASCAR Nationwide race at Dover last June.
Borla is the world’s leading high-performance exhaust manufacturer. The company’s experience in racing includes building high-performance exhausts and headers for winning NHRA Top Fuel dragsters, road racing cars and Baja 1000 off-road vehicles. The company has a R&D crew working with the NASCAR team to develop high-flow headers for their cars.
“Borla is a big NASCAR fan, and the excitement of NASCAR resonates with everything we are about,” CEO Alex Borla said. “We’re thrilled to be participating in the Sprint Cup Series and to subject our exhaust technology to the kind of punishment it was designed to perform and thrive in.”
The 32nd annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour, hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway kicked off Monday at the Charlotte Convention Center.
The first event was a luncheon with NASCAR President Mike Helton and SMI Motorsports COO Bruton Smith in attendance along with North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon.
Over 230 media members were credentialed for this year’s four-day tour which is unlike anything else in professional sports.
“We feel this is the premier preseason event for any sport,” said Scott Cooper, Charlotte Motor Speedway Vice President of Communications. “This is a tremendous kickoff for the NASCAR season. It’s a publicity launch about informing the fans. Everybody that is anybody within the sport is on this tour at some point. The media has great access they don’t always get in other sports. We do it over a four-day period so media has time to get the information to share with the fans.”
Ninety percent of the teams are located within 75 miles of Charlotte and there are 700 racing-related companies in the Charlotte area. For the state of North Carolina, it is a $6 billion industry.
“Charlotte is the only place you can do it and it makes sense with a legendary superspeedway and all the race teams located here,” Cooper said. “It’s a lot of work to put it together, but we take a lot of pride in doing in.”
Six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was selected by the National Motorsports Press Association as the Richard Petty Driver of the Year for 2013.
The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet received 50 percent of the votes cast to edge Matt Kenseth, who received 48 percent in voting by the NMPA membership.
It was the record sixth driver of the year award for Johnson, breaking a tie he previously had with the late Dale Earnhardt.
Johnson won six races in 2013 in addition to 16 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes. He finished 19 points ahead of Kenseth for the season championship.
In his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth led the Sprint Cup Series with seven victories, a career-high for the 2003 NASCAR champion.